Today I’m sharing this week’s Merry Little Bookmas, where Sarah from Sarah Withers Blogs has chosen me Shell by Paula Rawsthorne.
You picked this when you were with me and promised to read it and tell me if it was any good.
I had left this sat on my shelf for ages because, after I picked it up on a shopping trip with Sarah, I read some really critical reviews of it and it put me off. I’m glad that Sarah gave me the push to pick this up this month, because I was hooked from the start.
Lucy is dying of cancer. She has said her goodbyes and accepted this is the end for her. Then she wakes up, finding herself in a new body thanks to the pioneering research of Dr Radnor: he has transplanted her brain and eyes into a new body. Lucy’s horror at waking up as someone other than her self makes for difficult reading. She does not adjust easily (who would?). I loved the way Paula wrote this: Lucy’s loss of autonomy and identity are brilliantly explored. We see Lucy struggle to accept that she has to go through life as Renee, giving up her relationships with her grandmother, her best friend, and even her dog in the process. The strain within the family comes across well.
For Lucy, the pressure becomes too much. People become suspicious, and hidden details come out which shed a whole new light on Dr Radnor’s research. For some, the way the story progresses will seem a bit too unbelievable; I did find the ending chapters quite far fetched. On the other hand, this is a story where a brain is literally transplanted into another body, so I wasn’t expecting a realistic ending, and it is a great story.
This is an exciting read with a terrifying concept. Definitely worth a read. Thanks Sarah for giving me the push to pick it up.